Magpie Mine walk from Sheldon to Monyash pub (circular, 8km)
This pretty Magpie Mine walk takes you from the sleepy village of Sheldon, across gently rolling meadows, to the Bulls Head pub in Monyash (where there’s a fantastic playground), and back through Magpie Mine (the best preserved 19th century lead mine in the whole of Britain and free to explore). Plus there are lots of fossils to be found in the stiles close to Monyash! Away from the main hotspots of the National Park, this is one of our favourite of the quiet Peak District walks.
Do be warned that there are A LOT of stiles on this walk, so this may not be suitable for those with dogs, or parents with a little one in a carrier. Plus, it’s very likely that you will have to walk through at least one field of cows; walk carefully and quietly, and give them lots of space.
If you’re looking for a Magpie Mine walk, this is a great loop walk. But if you’re after a shorter walk, you can just visit directly from Sheldon, following the footpaths at the end of this walk.
If you are planning a visit to the National Park, please arrive early or late in the day to avoid crowds, and respect social distancing. Please also take all litter home with you, don’t bring BBQs and park your car in designated parking areas. Also, please use these walks as a guide; access and stiles may change.
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On all Peak District family walks it’s a good idea to have an Ordnance Survey paper map with you, even if you have your phone on you. For this walk you need the OS Explorer Active Map OL24 (White Peak). It’s also a good opportunity to show young kids the map features and get them started with map reading.
The route description below follows this OS Map in an anti-clockwise direction.
PARKING: There is no designated carpark at Sheldon. You can park your car along the road. Click here for the location on Google Maps. Ensure you’re not blocking any gates or driveways, and there is enough room for tractors to pass.
WALK HIGHLIGHTS: Quiet walk, Magpie Mine (free entry), fossils embedded in styles, lunch at the Bulls Head Pub and the Monyash playground.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE: Without kids, this is a two hour walk. However, with stops along the way to inspect fossils, chat to cows, play at the playground and time to explore the mine, we allow for a full day. So perhaps time lunch at the Bulls Head in Monyash.
ACCESSIBILITY: There are a lot of stiles on this walk, so it may not be suitable for those walking with dogs, or parents walking with kids in a carrier.
TOTAL ASCENT: 126 metres
PUBLIC TOILETS: There are no public toilets on this walk. There are pubs at both Sheldon and Monyash.
The following route description for this Magpie Mine walk follows the above OS Map in an anti-clockwise direction.
START: next to the bus stop in Sheldon (click here for Google Map location).
1. With your back to the bus stop, take a right along the road (away from Sheldon). After 110 metres there is a footpath sign on your right.
2. Climb over the steep stile (the first of many) and walk across the field in the direction that the footpath arrow is pointing. Then walk through the the gap in the drystone wall (next to a squeeze stile) to cut off the corner of the next field and over another stile.
3. Continue walking in the same direction, passing through a squeeze stile to the left of the gap as shown in the photo below (don’t take the track leading through the gap on the right).
You will then walk:
over a small stone stile
a wooden gate
two small stone stiles
a larger stone stile
a medium stile
then follow to where the pylon meets the next drystone wall for the next stone stile
4. This last stile brings you out onto a lane. Take a left and follow this slightly uphill for 280 metres to the road. Then cross the road and take the footpath almost immediately ahead of you (it’s a little bit to the right).
5. Walk along this track for 430 metres until you meet a wall in front of you (there will be a information board on your left about the local land). Cross the stone stile in the corner and continue walking straight ahead, following the arrow for ‘public footpath’ (on a pole just 25 metres on from the stile).
6. With the stone wall on your right, continue across three stone stiles. When you reach the small woodland (as shown in photo below), continue straight ahead, keeping the trees on your right and the farm buildings on your left.
7. At the next stile, take a left to cross another stile. The farm buildings will be on your left. LOOK OUT FOR FOSSILS IN THE STONES ON THE STILES! Continue following the footpath arrows across the fields towards Monyash. You will soon spot the church spire of Monyash in the distance. You will walk over 5 stone stiles.
If you don’t fancy heading into Monyash, then take a left here and walk up the road.
9. After the pub/playground/ice-cream retrace your steps back to the last stile and continue walking up the road leading away from Monyash. This section of road does get busy on a sunny weekend, so keep hold of little ones’ hands.
10. After 600 metres from the stile, there is a footpath on your left (just a little way after the ‘eggs for sale’ sign, and to the right of the metal gate). Walk through this squeeze still (it’s easy to miss!) More fossils can be seen on this stile.
11. Continue along the footpath across the field, veering slightly right. Cross over the next stile and continue along this footpath across the fields passing over (yet another and certainly not the last!) stone stile, and through a wooden gate. On the field after the wooden gate, follow the footpath around the left of the field and continue straight through a break in the next drystone wall.
12. At the next metal gate (the gate is open behind in the photo below) continue walking straight ahead with the drystone wall on your left. If the gate is locked, use the stone stile in the left hand corner and then come back round on the other side so that you’re walking with the drystone wall on your left.
13. Keeping the drystone wall to your left, you will eventually enter a little woodland after crossing 3 stone stiles.
14. Take the short 50 metre walk through the woodland and follow the footpath out the other side that leads out onto a road.
15. Take a right and walk along the road, passing the sign to Sheldon pointing left. Don’t take the road to Sheldon. Instead, keep walking straight ahead (the road veers slightly right) until you meet the footpath sign on the left (see photo below) that leads you up to Magpie Mine.
16. Climb over the stone stile (has anyone been counting these stiles?) and follow the track up to Magpie Mine, waymarked with yellow arrows. The mine is totally free to access and walk around. Please be careful of the machinery and drops. It’s a super fun place for kids to explore!
17. Once you’ve finished exploring Magpie Mine, time to finish the walk and head back to Sheldon. Take this footpath at the back of Magpie Mine, the opposite site to where you entered the mine (shown in photo below). Follow the footpath away from Magpie Mine to cross a stone stile in the left-hand corner of the field.
18. Continue along the footpath straight ahead; crossing over a small stone stile, then through two wooden gates, and then two final big stone stiles.
19. The footpath then leads you through a gate and onto the main road through the village of Sheldon. If you fancy a pint, head to the Cock and Pullet, which is further into the village, on the right.
Hello! 'Peak District Kids' is the go-to website for parents both visiting and living in the Peak District, run by Bakewell-based mum-of-two, Jenny Lynn. Find out about the best walks, bike rides, attractions, pubs, and accommodation for families in the UK's oldest National Park.